What is Evolution?

“We began as a mineral.
We emerged into plant life, and into the animal state, and then into being human, and always we have forgotten our former states, except in early spring when we slightly recall being green again.
That’s how a young person turns towards a teacher.
That’s how a baby leans toward the breast, without knowing the secret of its desire, yet turning instinctively.
Humankind is being led along an evolving course, through the migration of intelligences, and though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually startle us back to the truth of who we are.”
— The Story of Evolution
Rumi, 13th Century


Kwanzaa 2010

Instead of Christmas (much to my family's chagrin) I have chosen to celebrate Kwanzaa this year. From December 26, 2010 to January 1, 2011 I shall be celebrating a Pan-African holiday aimed at strengthening and unifying the African Diaspora. Centered on Community and African unity.
As a Jamaican living in Japan I find it pertinent that I maintain a connection not only with my fellow Jamaicans over here but also with my fellow African Diasporans as well. In a predominantly xenophobic country such as Japan it is a daily struggle to keep oneself grounded.
I feel that by celebrating Kwanzaa I will be able to embark on the new year refreshed and renewed and confident in my abilities as a black female attempting to survive in Asia.
Kwanzaa is a Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture. Celebrated from 26 December thru 1 January, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language. It was created by Dr. Maulana Kurenga.

Colours: Red, Green and Black. Black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future and hope that comes from their struggle. It is based on the colors given by the Hon. Marcus Garvey as national colors for African people throughout the world.

Greetings: 'Habari gani?' ( 'What's the news' or 'How are things' in Swahili) Is to be said at the beginning of each days celebration to which the answer will be the principle for that day.

The Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa are:

Day 1. Umoja (oo-MOH-jah): Unity
Success starts with Unity. Unity of family, community, nation and race.

Day 2. Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-goo-LEE-ah): Self-
To be responsible for ourselves. To create your own destiny.

Day 3. Ujima (oo-JEE-mah): Collective work and responsibility

To build and maintain your community together. To work together to help one another within your community.

Day 4. Ujamaa (oo-jah-MAH): Collective economics
To build, maintain, and support our own stores, establishments, and businesses.

Day 5. Nia (NEE-ah): Purpose

To restore Pan-African people to their traditional greatness. To be responsible to Those Who Came Before (our ancestors) and to Those Who Will Follow (our descendants).

Day 6. Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah): Creativity
Using creativity and imagination to make your communities better than what you inherited.

Day 7. Imani (ee-MAH-nee): Faith
Believing in our people, our families, our educators, our leaders, and the righteousness of the Pan-African struggle.
It is my hope that by focusing more on my own individual growth and improvement as I enter a new year that my purpose on this earth will be better realized.
Kwanzaa yenu iwe na heri! [Happy Kwanzaa]
iNi [Nina]
Nadya Dee

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Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."